While many people think of quinoa as a grain, it is technically a seed! This versatile little superfood is easy to cook and can be used in countless ways from being eaten as-is, to formed into burger patties or even added to baked goods.
Quinoa is full of iron and magnesium, both of which help to energize your body. Quinoa is also gluten-free, which makes it an especially important source of fiber for those who cannot digest gluten due to celiac disease. In addition to nutrients and fiber, quinoa also has a surprising amount of protein, which makes it a filling side dish.
If you are a snacker, you need to find that one fantastic snack that you can enjoy and fill up on without ruining your diet. If this sounds like you, try popcorn! Popcorn is technically a whole grain, and when not loaded with butter and other toppings, it is very low in calories. Popcorn also has a surprisingly high amount of fiber and protein, making it filling and satisfying.
To flavor popcorn without adding loads of calories, try a pressure oil vaporizer and mist your popcorn with healthier oil like olive. Fat-free and low-sodium seasoning mixes and spices are another great way to add flavor without calories.
There is no doubt that Popeye was on to something with his love of spinach. The leafy green is an incredibly rich source of iron, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, and more. Studies have found that a spinach-rich diet helps control insulin and blood sugar levels and aids in weight loss.
Raw spinach is the perfect base for a delicious, nutrient-packed salad. Cooked spinach, whether as part of a pizza or eaten alone as a side with garlic and olive oil, actually makes more of the nutrients available to the body, much like cooking carrots.
You may have noticed a considerable increase in sweet potato French fries and potato chips in your local supermarket, and for a good reason. Sweet potatoes contain the same baseline benefits as potatoes, but with even more nutrients, healthier starches, and fewer calories. Just one sweet potato contains four times the minimum recommended daily amount of vitamin A.
Sweet potato can be used in virtually any case where a potato is called for, with a similar flavor that has just a hint more sweetness and a slightly squash-like flavor. Sweet potato can also be used in place of many summer squashes, making it an incredibly versatile staple.
While often viewed as just a flavoring or an exclusively autumn treat, pumpkin should really be a staple food for anyone trying to lose weight. Only one serving of pumpkin contains over 20% of your entire day’s recommended intake of fiber, meaning pumpkin will make you feel pleasantly full for hours.
Pumpkin is often used in fat and sugar-filled bakery recipes but can be made into delicious, low-calorie savory options like curried pumpkin soup. Pumpkin is a versatile winter squash that can be substituted in place of many other winter squashes.